Failure Is Fertilizer: Cynthia Brian, StarStyle® Radio Host

Failure Is Fertilizer: Cynthia Brian, StarStyle® Radio Host
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Need a dose of motivation and inspiration today? Watch this interview with StarStyle® Radio Host, Cynthia Brian and share her short motivational quotes.

Cynthia is a New York Times best-selling author of several books, TV/Radio personality/producer, lecturer, newspaper columnist, and enrichment coach specializing in acting, media, writing, speaking, and life success.

She is the Founder and Executive Director of Be The Star You Are!® 501 c charity, empowering women, families, and youth through increased literacy, improved positive media messages, and skills for living. Since 1998 she has produced and hosted the weekly upbeat, lifestyle international radio broadcast, StarStyle®- Be the Star You Are!®.

Cynthia created and produces the young adult radio show, Express Yourself!™ for the Voice America Network, Empowerment Channel. She writes for magazines, newspapers, and on-line sites. When not inspiring others, she can be found working in her garden or playing with her barnyard of adopted animals.

Resources mentioned in the interview:

Naaree Talk With StarStyle®Radio Host, Cynthia Brian

Priya Florence Shah:

Today I’m interviewing Cynthia Brian. She’s a New York Times bestselling author of several books TV-radio personality producer, a lecturer, a newspaper columnist and an enrichment coach specializing in acting, media, writing, speaking, and life success.

Cynthia is the founder and executive director of Be the Star You Are!®,  a nonprofit, empowering women families and youth through increased literacy, improve propositive media messages and skills for living since 1990.

She has produced and hosted the weekly upbeat lifestyle international radio broadcast style, StarStyle®- Be the Star You Are!®. Cynthia creates, created and produced the young adult radio show Express Yourself for the Voice America Network Empowerment channel.

She writes for magazines, newspapers and online sites. When not inspiring others, she can be found working in her garden or playing with a barnyard of adopted animals.

Oh, lovely. I love that description. And it’s like I said, the dream life. You’re living the dream.

Cynthia Brian:

Thank you. Thank you so much for having me on your show. I really appreciate it. Oh, it’s exciting to be in India again. Yes.

Priya Florence Shah:

At least through the internet. Yes, yes.

Cynthia Brian:

But I feel like I’m there.

Priya Florence Shah:

Oh, lovely. So you’re such an accomplished woman. And, you know, when I saw your profile on LinkedIn, I said, “I have to speak to this lady because she’s done so much. And she’s accomplished so many things.”

So tell me a little bit about yourself, Cynthia. Tell me a little bit about your journey and how it started and how you got to where you are.

Cynthia Brian:

Well, thank you for asking. You know, I think that everything starts, of course, as you know, with a first step. But I grew up on a farm. I am the first person in my family to ever go on to higher education.

I was really raised by wonderful parents, we had a very big family, who let us know that we could do anything that we wanted to do and be who we wanted to be, as long as we were willing to work hard to put in the energy, the effort.

So I really had that foundation of believing in myself and having the confidence that every day is a new day and I can become the person that I dream of being. And so that’s how I’ve kind of carved my life.

Everything that I do is really in an artistic fashion. And, of course, having grown up around nature and animals, that’s what grounds me, that’s what has always kept me being real and authentic. And I’m so grateful for that.

And that journey has led me around the world into media, into movies, into television and radio, and speaking, into writing books, and it’s something that I never really expected.

When I was a little girl, I just wanted to be a world-famous ball bouncer. I have no idea what a ball bouncer is, but I had a little ball and I thought I could be really good at it and go around the world, bouncing balls for people.

So people kind of joke, I’m still bouncing balls, because I have a lot of balls in the air all the time. But I really do love what I do, and I think it’s because I really love who I am. And I work really hard at keeping grounded and, and being real all the time and hopefully approachable and can connect with people?

Priya Florence Shah:

Yes, I can see that, and I think that’s wonderful about you. So tell me a little bit about your career. I mean, you’ve been an actress as well, right?

Cynthia Brian:

Yes, was, still am, I’ve been doing that for a very long time. And again, you know, life is so interesting because it really doesn’t matter who you are, where you came from. I’ve said this in my books, Be The Star You Are.

We’re all created unique. We’re all different. And this is why we’re all stars in our own way. We all have that flame that’s burning within us. And sometimes we just need to polish and shine it and get it out there.

And from the time I was a little girl, I mean really little, like many little kids. I just love performing and my family was large. I’ve 36 first cousins, Italian family.

Priya Florence Shah:

I actually know how that is? I’ve got 25 cousins on one side, another 20 on the other side.

Cynthia Brian:

Oh, my God! You’re the first person that has beaten me. But it’s wonderful, isn’t it?

Priya Florence Shah:

Yes, it amazing. It’s amazing.

Cynthia Brian:

Amazing. And I feel really, really grateful to have grown up with a close-knit family. And we spent a lot of time together because we were rural, we’re out in the country. So really, we only had each other and we had the animals and we had the trees, we would entertain and that’s our entertainment.

As we put on shows, my cousins tell me that I was writing, directing and producing from the time I was three, but I don’t think I could write when I was three. But evidently, I used to give everybody a part. And we all used to perform.

But my parents, when I really express this love of acting, that was not what they had in mind for me, you know, in those days, being an actor was the next best thing to prostitution.

Priya Florence Shah:

I know, in India too.

Cynthia Brian:

So I didn’t do it. So, I decided I would become a nun instead. Catholic school. So, I actually decided to become a nun. And then when I went to the convent in Ireland, they actually told me they thought I might be better suited for the bright lights.

Priya Florence Shah:

You’re like Maria, from The Sound Of Music. You were banished from the convent.

Cynthia Brian:

I would have been banished. And the wonderful thing is, I am still excellent, great friends with these wonderful, wonderful women who are nuns, who told me that I wouldn’t make it. And I just actually visited them this past year and Ireland, and so that’s all wonderful and exciting.

But what that tells me is that we can continue to do whatever it is that we want to do. So the thing about it is, here I was you know, I thought okay, I can’t do that. But then I went away to UCLA and things just started happening.

I worked for the airlines, I got spotted. I started working in acting, never thinking I was acting, and then one thing after another. And so, I guess the moral of the story is when you’re passionate about something, and you become good at it, you’re going to do it.

And as parents, we have to encourage our children to follow their dreams and support their dreams. And when you’re doing what you love, it’s that old cliché that you’ll never work a day in your life.

And so I have been able to parlay acting into many different things into other realms of media. I mean, I’m still working in film and television, and I’ve had my own TV shows. Then I started in radio, and I absolutely love Radio, because, with radio, you never have to worry about how you look.

You don’t have makeup artists and hairstylists and you dressers and all of that. And so that is so fantastic. And then of course, with technology the way it is, I mean, look at us right now. I’m sitting here in California in my library, and you’re in India in your library, and we can see each other.

Yeah, that didn’t happen a few years ago. So the world is just this amazing, amazing oyster. And I think it’s up to each of us to discover it. Because once we start in something that we love, we can just keep opening the doors to everything.

What I’ve learned over the years is to say Yes to life. So when someone offers an opportunity, I say yes. And then, I try to figure out how am I going to do that?

cynthia brian

Priya Florence Shah:

I love that.

Cynthia Brian:

You may not have the skills at first, but if you say yes, you’ll learn the skills.

Priya Florence Shah:

Wise words, those are really wise words. Absolutely. Because many of us second guess ourselves, you know, and we always think that “Oh, I can’t do this,” and but we can figure it out, right?

Cynthia Brian:

You know what, we’re all humans in training, and all of us have faults, and all of us have idiosyncrasies. But we also have innate skills and gifts. And I believe that each of us is a gift to this universe.

And we were put on this earth to do something magnificent and it doesn’t matter what that is, you could be a ditch digger, a janitor, or you can be President of something, it doesn’t matter. We’re all important.

And that’s the whole idea of Be The Star You Are®, just be who you are, be your authentic, real self tap into what is real for you, and not try to pretend to be anybody else.

And so when you’re yourself, and you’re truthful, and you’re honest, and you’re walking your talk, and you’re living with integrity, it’s it really is amazing how the world just opens because people are waiting for positivity.

People need encouragement people need to be appreciated, don’t you think? So I’m just so grateful for all the opportunities and all the people that I’ve met around the world and I learned something from everyone.

And that’s the key to life is, if we’re learning every day, then we’re not going to be stale. And then we can keep changing. I mean, I started acting, and then you’re writing and then you’re coaching and it just kind of keeps going. It’s all in the same realm.

But you have to have passion. Life is about passion. And then from passion, you can create the possibilities, but always look for the possibilities. There’s no place to be feeling sorry for yourself. Just pick yourself up and go for it.

Priya Florence Shah:

Awesome. I just love that. It sounds like it’s from a movie, but it’s real life, you know,

Cynthia Brian:

It’s real life. You know, I get a lot of this, I’m a gardener, and I’ve written garden books and I’ve been writing garden articles for many years. Because I get my inspiration in nature when I’m outside.

I feel fulfilled in there just something about nature. There are no mistakes in nature. I have a motto – Failure Is fertilizer. Put it on the compost pile, grow a new garden.

Failure is fertilizer. Put it on the compost pile, grow a new garden. ~ Cynthia Brian

Motivational Quotes For Students

In other words, don’t worry about it. If you’re not making lots of mistakes, and you’re not failing. Lots and lots and lots, you’re not growing. You’re not going to get anywhere you show me somebody who has never failed and I’ll show you somebody who’s never tried.

So people will come into my office for a coaching session, and there’ll be afraid, “Oh, gosh. What if I make a mistake? Or what if somebody doesn’t like me or what if…”

You know, there are no what it should and could do. Again, go out there, be willing to laugh at yourself. Don’t worry if people are laughing at you or with you, just do it. You know, Nike had the greatest slogan, just do it.

And, it’s amazing what can happen when you are just being yourself. Again, you have to work hard, and you’ve got to put in the time. You really do have to be creative in a way that you show up and you care and you’d be responsible and be organized.

And most importantly, again, I get back to that integrity of walking your talk, Own your truth. Be really real, you know, people have to be able to depend on you. That’s the key. If they can’t depend on you, then you’re not going to get anywhere.

That’s a very, very important part of anything. And I think it transfers over to all walks of life, it doesn’t matter what it is. But if you have a dream, go for it, just go for it.

And I have a method that I’ve used that, to me, it works. It’s like, you dream the dream. And dream a big dream, bigger than anybody could dream for you. Because I always say,  if you shoot for the stars, you might hit a cloud, so shoot as big as you possibly can.

Because even if you come a little bit lower than that, you’ve gone further than what you started. So dream big, and then write down what you’re dreaming. After that, you gotta write the plan.

In other words, if to want to get from A to Z, you may not know how, but it probably means you you’d have to go back to school, or you might need to read books, you might need to get coaching, you might need a mentor, you may need to go to seminars, but whatever it is, you have to get the skills you need. Very important.

But the key is to go into action. Without action there’s nothing. So first you have to BE, then you can Do, you know, BE and then DO. And another important ingredient to me of success is having a support person, a cheerleader.

It doesn’t have to be a lot of people, but it has to be at least one person who is not a yes person, but it’s somebody who is going to let you know when you’re on the right track when you’re on the wrong track.

And also say okay, so you hit a stumbling block, okay, pick yourself up, keep going. Because we never know how close we are to the top of the mountain. You know, sometimes it seems so far. But it might be just over that little hill.

So it’s like Winston Churchill said, “Nevah, nevah, nevah give up.” Just don’t give up. Keep on going, because those failures turn into successes. Failure is just success upside down.

Failure is just success upside down. ~ Cynthia Brian

Priya Florence Shah:

I love that. Just love that. It’s a beautiful quote. So, tell me a little bit about the program you started.

Cynthia Brian:

Oh, thank you. Be The Star You Are!® is a nonprofit, a charity. And it is to empower women, families and youth with increased literacy, positive media messages like the program you’re doing right now. And tools for living.

And this originated when I was doing a TV show called Live Your Dreams, about extraordinary, ordinary people who are doing what they love in life, not for the money. Not for the glamour, but because it shed their souls.

And some of the people working on it said to me, “Well, we need to spread this message bigger and the way to do it is a nonprofit.” Well, I had no idea how hard it is to run a nonprofit – we’re all volunteers, there are no paid people – I wouldn’t have done it.

So it’s a good thing I didn’t have a crystal ball. And it’s a good thing I wasn’t psychic. But now that I’m in it, we have worked with people all over the world. We have distributed empowerment tools, which are books and tapes and puzzles and videos and things that can lift people up in times of distress. Over $2 million worth.

We have worked with more than half a million people, and all with volunteers, mostly teenagers. And so this gives me such great hope that I can work with young people. Keeps me young inside at least. But to help the next generations give back.

Because it’s so important that we give to other people. The website for that is BeTheStarYouAre.org if anybody’s interested.

Priya Florence Shah:

I’ll put it in the description of the video, so they can check it out, right?

Cynthia Brian:

Oh, that’s so nice of you. But it’s a wonderful organization. And again, it’s all volunteers. We do a lot of disaster relief. We do book distributions, we have the radio shows, StarStyle®- Be the Star You Are!®, and then the team show, Express Yourself!™.

And on both those shows, they’re always positive, but always bringing on guests that are going to uplift and have a message of encouragement and inspiration, motivation to be the best that you can be to Be The Star You Are.

Be The Star You Are

Priya Florence Shah:

Yes. And that’s so important because I think young people need that message. I mean, a lot of them are going through a really hard time because things are changing so fast and many of them face an uncertain future. So I think they need to hear that message. Right?

Cynthia Brian:

I think especially now, you know, every generation says, “Oh, these, you know, it’s the best of times. It’s the worst of times.” But as you said, right now, young people are suffering and the future especially with global warming and climate change.

They don’t know if there is a future. Are we even going to have a world? So we really do have to give them the resources and the tools and more importantly, we have to give us a voice.

And this is why we have the show, Express Yourself!™. It’s completely non-edited. I don’t curate it. The kids talk. So it’s all teenagers, age 12 and then up and they get to choose their topics. They talk about what they want to talk about.

So it’s where teens talk and the world listens. And then my newest book, Be The Star. You have millennials to boomers, it’s positive voices and a changing digital world, I think that kind of says it all, is that all of us have a voice that needs to be heard.

So we have to communicate, collaborate. It’s very critical because that’s the only way we’re going to be able to innovate.

Priya Florence Shah:

And have to get along and survive together, you know?

Cynthia Brian:

That’s the whole thing, is that you know, this world is connected now. But how are we going to have peace? How are we going to open that conversation so that people of all nations and all creeds and all sexes and all beliefs, we can all get along, and the thing is, is we all bleed red, right? We’re all humans.

And so let’s get along and let’s look to a bright future together. Let’s walk hand in hand. So that’s what motivates me to get up in the morning is, I really, really want to be part of that dialogue of helping the world unite into one. Just amazing, forceful endeavour and experience for all.

Priya Florence Shah:

You’re really a wonderful bright spark, you know, in a world that really needs it.

Cynthia Brian:

Oh, that’s sweet. So are you and that’s it, you know, we’re all flames. Some of our flames are burning a little brighter, and some just, again, need a little bit of a flicker more.

But why don’t we all, you know, ignite that spark and then when we’re positive and we look at the at others and we have a big smile and we’re having fun, and we go out on that limb and we take some risks. So we have to be the change that we want to see.

We have to be role models. We have to be mentors. And it all starts with us. So the word I, me if these are important words, because I have a responsibility, you have a responsibility, we all have that responsibility. And the key is we have the ability to do this. We just have to get going.

Priya Florence Shah:

I love that you’re such a motivational person. I’m sure that the people that you speak to, I mean, the young people and all the people who come in touch with you must be so uplifted by that message, you know, so it’s wonderful.

Cynthia Brian:

Well, thank you, you know, I’m uplifted by them. As I said, I really, really appreciate every person that I meet, because whether you get a positive comment or a negative comment, if you can take it and learn from it and say, “Okay, what is triggering that?” That makes me a better person.

So my goal every day, I start every day with a meditation. And I’ve been doing this for many years. And again, being with my animals and being out in nature, I always do it outside rain or shine, no matter the weather.

It gives me that connection and gratitude, just to have another day on this beautiful earth. And then when I get to meet people, I feel like their energy I gravitate towards it and I hope my goal is that I can inspire other people just to be the best people that they can be for that day.

Be the star they are, that’s all that StarStyle® is, just be the best person that you can be, be kind and be true. And be yourself because everybody else is taken.

Priya Florence Shah:

I love that, and we so badly need to hear such messages, right? I mean, we need these kinds of messages to completely blanket all the bad news that there is in the world and you know smother it. So that we can only hear the good stuff, right?

Cynthia Brian:

You said something important there is that we all need to hear it. Even if you’ve heard it before, we need to hear it again. We need to hear it again. And we need to hear it again.

Because when you think about it, if if you put people down, they’re not going to want to get back up. Or if they get back up, they get back up with anger.

But if you encourage people, if you lift people up and you find the good in people, then they’re going to want to strive to even be better. So let’s make the best better. Yeah, always strive to be the best and make it better.

That’s what I do when I work with people is, no matter who you are or where you from, is that I really want to encourage you just to go for it because you can be and you will be whoever you put your mind to be.

As long as you’re always being true to who you are, and you’re willing to put in the work, the sacrifices, the time and do it all with love. Love conquers all.

And I love living and I love people. And I just love this life. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re rich or poor. I grew up really poor. I didn’t know I was poor, because we were lived on a farm and we had plenty of food, but we didn’t have much else.

You know, we had one roller skate that five of us tried to roller skate on a dirt road and we got a used bicycle that my dad put together, but you know, it doesn’t matter. It’s what is wealth? Wealth is happiness. Yeah, you have happiness and you have health.

chicken soup for the gardener soul

Priya Florence Shah:

We have everything. We define it all wrong. I mean, what you had was wonderful. I don’t think you lacked for anything, you know?

Cynthia Brian:

No, not really. We didn’t. I feel so blessed that I grew up the way I did because it gave me the groundwork to understand every single level of where people come from. And you know, the trials and tribulations that we all go through.

And what I’ve really learned, it’s never too late to have a happy childhood. So even if you grew up in a difficult childhood, get the therapy, get the help that you need, to understand it, to process it, to go through those emotions and then start a new day

Every day is new, every, every hour, every minute, every second, our cells in our body are constantly changing. So don’t hold on to negativity because the only person that gets hurt is ourselves.

And this is why I like forgiveness. For example, if you can’t forgive and you hold a grudge, the only person that’s suffering is you. You holding that grudge, because nobody else is thinking about it. Right? And they go, no, no, no.

So we really have to live in the moment, live for the now. We had a saying when I was growing up, and it’s kind of silly, but I kind of live by it, and I’ll share it. It was, “You mad at me? You hate my guts. Do you think I’m nasty? Do you think I’m nuts? Tough, your problem.”

And I liked that so much. Because what that says is that I’m not going to let others perceptions of who I dampen my soul and my spirit of who I know I am. Right. I know I am a good caring individual. And that’s what I bring to the world.

So it doesn’t matter what other people say. Yes, you’re going to be hurt when people say bad things, but you know what, then stay off of social media because that can be so negative.

Priya Florence Shah:

Yeah, right. There’s a lot of negativity there, but you can avoid it. I’ve found myself unsubscribing from all the negative stuff, you know, and I only say stay subscribed to the funny stuff and the silly stuff and things that make me laugh. So you can curate what you’re seeing, you know.

Cynthia Brian:

I am with you. I’m exactly with you. I don’t read, I won’t read negativity. I won’t read the newspapers and the bad things that are happening. And I just say prayers and say please put light around everyone and make them feel good about themselves.

Yeah, but yes, no, you really can stop that negativity. And because we have a choice. Yeah. And you know life is you gotta…

Priya Florence Shah:

Choose what to focus on.

Cynthia Brian:

We can choose, yeah. No one is forcing any of this down our throats, fortunately, and especially if we live in countries as we live in that are democratic. Hopefully, we can choose what it is that we see, what we read, and what we e do.

And I just do want to say one other last thing is how important nutrition is. About the food that you put in your body. To getting back to wealth and health. I mean, because being healthy is so critical and when you don’t feel well, it’s difficult to be kind to other people because it makes you grouchy.

You know, drink lots of water, eat fresh vegetables. Be kind to yourself. Get plenty of sleep. Don’t you think that so many of us, we might be out there in the world doing things with others, but we’re not taking care of Number One? And that’s the key. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t take care of other people.

Priya Florence Shah:

I wrote a book on that.

Cynthia Brian:

You did?

Priya Florence Shah:

Yes, I did. It’s called Devi2Diva.

Cynthia Brian:

Yeah. Tell us a little bit about that.

Priya Florence Shah:

It’s an emotional self-care book for women. So all the stuff that you’re saying, it makes absolute sense to me, because I’ve written about it. And I’ve written about my own journey. You must have heard of Louise Hay, right?

Cynthia Brian:

No, of course, I knew her. You know, I knew Louise. Oh, wonderful. So she, I mean, she’s a lovely person. Yeah.

Priya Florence Shah:

And her book changed my life. Because I was going through some stuff at that time and I had health issues. And then when I read her book, You Can Heal Your Life, that was one of the books that changed my life.

The other one was by Richard Carlson, it was called Shortcut Through Therapy and it was all about how happiness is a choice.

And the first time I heard of that, I said, “Oh, I can choose to be happy. So I don’t have to be miserable.” You know, I can actually choose every moment of the day what I want to think.

Cynthia Brian:

Happiness is an inside job. Absolutely you can choose it and Richard Carlson, there are so many people… I’m so glad you’re talking about how books change your life, because I find those little nuggets even when you read a book, and you even get one, you know, one sentence or something that hits you like the fact that you can choose happiness.

Yeah, that’s crucial. It changed your whole life, right? It changed your whole perspective. I read that book. Congratulations. And you know what? We’ll have to get you on our radio

Priya Florence Shah:

I love that, love to share the message.

Cynthia Brian:

I would love to have you share the message, I’m going to definitely do that.

Priya Florence Shah:

Sure, I’d love that I mean, anything to have another chat with you. That would be awesome.

Cynthia Brian:

To get you with the teens too, because again, that’s a huge message for the kids. We’ve been doing a lot of shows lately about challenges that teens are experiencing and you know, and there are very high rates of suicide and depression. They’re under so much pressure.

I mean, and just trying to even get into colleges, and there are so many things that are going on, and to have a message that I can choose to be happy. It makes a big difference for them only important.

And that’s what I work with them, all the time letting them know that same thing is that it’s up to you. The life you live is up to you. Yes, there are circumstances. What happened is out of our control, but the things that we can control, do them as best we can and do them with joy.

And do them with a big smile on your face and love in your heart and gratitude in your soul. And then things seem to fall into place.

Priya Florence Shah:

Yes, absolutely. Because that’s your choice. I mean, ultimately, you can choose that, right? Yes, you’re choosing that.

Cynthia Brian:

You’re choosing to be uplifting, and you’re choosing to empower others with encouragement. So if we always think about the word empowerment, and not just for ourselves, but for others, then every single day of our life when we step outside, we will be inspiring others.

And just remember when you walk down that street, and you smile at someone, you might just be saving their life. So smile a lot. Yeah, I’ll give you your face value.

Did you enjoy this interview with StarStyle® Radio Host, Cynthia Brian? Want more encouraging quotes for women? Subscribe to the newsletter below and stay updated when we publish new interviews with inspirational people.

Author bio:

Priya Florence Shah is the Group Editor at SHEROES and author of Devi2Diva, an emotional self-care book for women.

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